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on Oct. 07, 2012 :
After reading only the first paragraph, I was primed to like Sam Seudo’s The Gatekeeper. The author’s clear, simple, and honest style appealed to me immediately, as did the protagonist Matteo. Other characters, Gino and Tom, won me over as well with their idiosyncratic personality traits and revealing dialogue – this author has created a cast of immensely likable characters using very few words.
This short story revolves around an unpaid exorcism and the moral dilemma of Matteo, who doesn’t want to get involved with Gino and his old life even when murder has been committed. This story introduces two faiths, both of which Matteo has left yet employs to do his job. I admit, I had to read some of the explanations of the faiths a few times to make sure I understood, though the important terms being italicised assisted greatly. I giggled at the comfortable dissonance between Matteo and his disbelieving assistant, and enjoyed the description of the exorcism, explaining step-by-step how the protagonist explored a sea of souls and found that which was causing the haunting. Also, I found Matteo’s shying away from sexual terms, even in his own mind, to be very endearing.
If I’m to be picky, I did stumble across a homophone-related error, but found to my surprise that I – I, who have stopped reading books in the past due to grammar issues – didn’t care. The rest of the story was clean. And I was enjoying it far too much to stop.
The use of both present tense and the first person generally makes for a fast-paced, reader-involved literary experience, and The Gatekeeper is no exception. Realistic despite a paranormal context and boasting this lovely, haunted-yet-caring protagonist, this story would definitely be receiving four-and-a-half stars if I could give half stars here. With leeway left for more, I very much hope the author continues this clever, addictive story.
(review of free book)